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Old 14-03-2014, 07:18   #1
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So, you Bought a Sailboat, Then What?

After all the formalities of finding "the" boat, negotiations complete, good survey and sea trial, and finally money exchange.......what next??

The boat will have numerous systems that will be new to you, including all the unique characteristics that the previous owner knows and performs to get the most out of the boat.

My question is; Do you ask the previous owner to spend time with you to crawl through the boat and get the low down on how things work (or not) and take the boat out to demonstrate how everything works in a safe, optimum manner.

As previous owners have you volunteered to assist the new owner, do you wait to see if they ask and say yes or no, do you just put the check in your pocket and walk away?????

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Old 14-03-2014, 07:26   #2
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

You would have a sea trial as part of the purchase and sometimes the owner attends this however if he doesn't it is very common that an owner would spend some time even if it just means via email explaining certain systems to you. Some more and some less but I always have given feedback on boats I have sold and always rec'd it on boats I purchased.
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Old 14-03-2014, 07:30   #3
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

Depends on the sale method....

Brokered boats tend to get "sterilized" from the PO ... Most of the time you would need to prepare a list of questions...

Direct sale??? Anybody who does not overly volunteer far too much information is not a true sailor...
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

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Old 14-03-2014, 07:46   #4
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

Actually, I don't think it is something that would be contractual. Some sellers just want to walk away. Perhaps for emotional reasons. Myself, I have emailed and even dropped in on the new owner once or twice. I have also seen the new owner begin to complain about this and that which quickly severs any help.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 14-03-2014, 07:50   #5
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

I found my boat at a marina out in the boonies. The owner had passed away, and it was part of an estate sale so I had to figure everything out on my own and it was my first monohull. Some things you discover immediately and some in a few weeks. Others in a year..............

It's actually somewhat enjoyable to figure this stuff out as you go.

I believe I may have heard the previous owner a few times in my head saying things like......... "you are just now noticing that!"

Example: there is a plate on the lower part of the cabin hatch held in by two screws on my boat. I thought it may have been an old plate that had the boat builders name etc on it.

I noticed the screws that held the plate were not tightened in all the way so I tightened them and went on with the other 15-20 projects that needed to be completed on the boat as it had been sitting on the hard unused for 5 years.

There is a compass mounted on the bulkhead down below. The boat has two GPS units on it so I didn't think about using the compass much, but one day know I should mount this compass some place in the cockpit where I can easily see it.

So I went and stood by the tiller and said to myself " where would be a good place to mount .............."

Yep, the compass was mounted on two screws on the bulkhead in the cabin.

As far as the electronic systems, you can usually download a users manual online.
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Old 14-03-2014, 07:54   #6
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

First boat I almost bought (boat failed survey) PO was a sailor and was very proud of his boat and wanted to show me everything.
Boat I'm currently buying, it's obvious that the owner has never sailed or used it, I'm sure I'll never meet him and I am real sure after the survey and sea trial, I now know way more about the boat than him.
So it depends
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Old 14-03-2014, 08:02   #7

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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

You can ask. They will provide in most cases up to a point. But don't expect them to answer questions forever and ever. Limit it to one or at most two calls.
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Old 14-03-2014, 08:15   #8
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

I just went thru this very scenario. I purchased my boat at the end of December. During the negotiations, I asked the PO if he would be willing to spend a day with me going over the boat and its systems after the purchase. He agreed and we shook on it. I have had exactly one phone call with the PO since then, and that was simply to discuss some dates to get together. He has dropped off the face of the earth. He won't respond to emails or phone calls. So much for our "handshake".

But it's all ok. I'm discovering that he didn't really know that much about the boat anyway...or he didn't care. I'm finding things that I just have to shake my head and say "what the hell was he thinking?" I did find a good boatyard mechanic to go over the motor with me and help with some of the changes that I needed to do to the boat. I'm also having a good time "discovering" things about the boat on my own. For example, on my third overnight stay on the boat I discovered two hidden compartments that I never knew existed.

But I still wish the PO had lived up to his agreement as it would have saved me some time on certain things.
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Old 14-03-2014, 08:23   #9
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

Assuming everyone walked away from the sale with smiles on, and assuming the PO is local, then just ask for help. Unless it was somehow written into the sales contract that the OP was to provide after-sale service, there would be no obligation. But sailors help sailors. Just ask.
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Old 14-03-2014, 08:31   #10
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

We would *LOVE* to get some perspective from the previous owner, but the best deals tend to be on boats that the previous owner is incapable of sharing their knowledge.
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Old 14-03-2014, 10:53   #11
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

Thanks folks for the replies. I think I'll ask for some input from the PO and hopefully get a good response. I believe most sailors want to help each other.
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Old 14-03-2014, 12:06   #12
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

I think you should. I was more than happy to answer questions and provide tips to the buyers of my boat. I gave them my email address and also put together a writeup explaining the ins and outs of the various systems onboard. I wanted them to enjoy the boat as much as my wife and I had.
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Old 14-03-2014, 12:21   #13
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Re: So, you bought a sailboat, then what?

It all depends on a number of factors:
- Your skills
- Type of sale
- Willingness of new owner
- Willingness of broker

On my Pearson 28(private sale) I was on my own. Nothing too complicated though.
- Helped out the new owner via private sale. I can still see her across the harbor.
Bought my Ericson 35-3 thru broker. Owner showed up with extra gear and took off.
- Sold privately and helped new owner deliver. Training en route.
- Have helped subsequent owner via email.
Bought mt Caliber privately
- Owner spent quite a few hours going over many systems with me.
- I have since updated much of it.
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Old 14-03-2014, 15:57   #14
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Re: So, you Bought a Sailboat, Then What?

We moved up from a C&C 24 to a Catalina 310. The C&C was pretty barebones: 2 gallon tank with just a hand pump; 8 hp outboard; minimal cabin lights powered by one battery. The Catalina is got everything. I knew nothing about the systems. Our surveyor took some time with us. But mainly, I read. The first thing I took off the boat was the manuals. Read them all cover to cover. Downloaded missing ones from the internet. Read those. Reread the survey report. Searched and read on this forum and Asked questions from guys like MaineSail who are a wealth of knowledge and willing to share.

Then I would go to the boat and just mess around with the systems I could. It was winterized so I couldn't do much with the engine or the water systems. When the boat went into the water I spent all my free time just going through the boat and checking out the different systems.

Oh, I did do some seminars too. At the local boat show they always have some basic systems classes. I attended those and I joined a owner's group (Catalina Owners of New England). They have 2-3 different seminars a year on boat systems.

Good luck. What kind of boat did you get?

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Old 14-03-2014, 16:09   #15
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Re: So, you Bought a Sailboat, Then What?

I usually dont because I wnat to take everything out and learn about it myself...BUT it's a great thing to do... owners have a way of talking way too much and you will find out a lot of things that are not obvious.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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